THE LATIN AMERICAN CONNECTION

Created: 6/1/1975

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The Latin American Connection

The Latin American Connection

Summary

During ihe past few years, governments in Latin America and the Caribbean have increased their efforts to comrol the production and illicit flow of narcotics. In many countries some progress ha* been made. At the least, governments have been made aware and concerned, mainly through the efforts of the US. that their countries play significant roles in Ihe drug abuse problem in the US. Still, the production and smuggling of heroin and cocaine from ihe area continues to flourish. There are no accurate statistics available, but the Latin American connection almost certainly accounts for the largest amount of illicit narcotics now entering the US.

trouble spots in attempting to halt the illicit drug flow into theLatin America presently arc Mexico, Colombia. Ecuador. Peru, andis the major source of heroin. Colombia and Ecuador arc the key

processing and trafficking countries. Pcni and Bolivia are the world's largest

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duceis of coca, the plant from which cocaine is derived. Leaders of theseand others in the region have publicly announced their government'sthe fight against illicit drug production and trafficking, but they face anin dealing with the problem.

The high level of narcotics activity stemsariety of factors, many of which are beyond the total control of authorities. Most countnes lack resources and equipment, are unsophisticated in their law enforcement, and are plagued by corruption.

progress will probably be realized in ihe more advanced and politically sophisticated countries Leaders of Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, andare intent on taking furlher steps to control the situation. Their sense of urgency will probably increase as drug abuse spreads among their own populations.

Progress in other countries will vary widely. Traffickers will continue to shift their operations to those countries where law enforcement and governmentare weakest.

Stemming the flow of heroinore likely possibility in the longer term since it is recognized as the most harmful narcotic.and growing the opium poppy plant is illegal in all Latin American countries. Cocaine traffic will be more difficult to deter since ihe coca leaf has been used by Indians in the high plains of the Andes for centunes.

Even should Inroads be made on the many problems, controlling the flow of narcotics info the US willlow and difficult process as long as demand remains close to present levels and trafficking in narcotics remains so extraordinarily

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Scope of ihe Problem

Huge quantities of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana are produced :rid processed in Latin American and Caribbean countries and then imygjled into the US. The area almost certainly is the major source ot" illicitow emenng the US. Drug traffickershe area have increasedj operations in the past few years mainly in response to threeighter enforcement controls on heroin trafficking in Western Europe,] ban on opium production in Turkey;sc in thef cocaine in the US.

Mfor exam ple^has-supplan tc4 Turkey

heroin consumed in the US. Roughlyoercent of the heroin seized in the US in ihe last year was either produced in or transshipped through Mexico. Theatin American connection is used to exchange South American cocaine for heroin refined in Europe, though apparently traffic has lessened in recent years because of the stricter measures in Europe. Opium poppy fields have also been found in Ecuador. Peru, tad Colombia, but they apparently are not widespread nor are theses large producers of heroin.

The trafficking of cocaine from South America has increasedto meet the rising demand in the US. Virtually all of theenters the US originates in Bolivia, Peru. Colombia, or Ecuador,that make up the coca leaf growing and processing region of

a.

America. US seizures of cocaine-almost all of it originating inercent

Manjuana and its derivatives, coming mainly from Mexico. Jamaica, sad Colombia but prevalent in many other countries, are smuggled in huge quantities throughout the hemisphere.

Many governments in Latin America and the Caribbean have made some headway in fighting the problem. At the least, they are aware and concerned thai their countries are major sources of illicit drugs entering the US. ln some cases, they have formed new narcotics police units, launched large eradication and interdiction campaigns with some success, and toughened drug laws. Most of these moves can be attributed to US influence.

With continued USradual improvement the caliber of performance by the Latin governments is likely over the long run. but progress will not come easily. Several factors pose problems:

ong tradition of smuggling

-Corruption among government officials and law enforcement agencies

-Long, unpatrolled, and busy borders ond vast reaches Of inaccessible land

-Lack of resources, equipment, and trained personnel

-Unsophisticated and frequently uncoordinated enforcement efforts

-Entrenched and weil-financed criminal elements

-Weak judicial systems and inadequate extradition laws

-Poor coordination among governments in the region

Smuggling is endemic throughout Latin America. Enormous quantities _oL_contrabandguns, and-precious gems-are easily transported from one country to another. Sometimes such items move across three or more borders before they reach their destination. Under these circumstances, illicit drug trafficking is attractive and relatively easy. Because smuggling and contraband are fairly commonplace, it Isto arouse the public and the authonties against such trafficking when it involves drugs.

Corruption is widespread. In many countries it isay of life; without payoffs and bnbes many of the everyday government functions, from issuing auto permits to export licenses, could not be accomplished. Profits from drug trafficking are so great that it is worthwhile to bribe low-ranking police and government officials to look the other way. Often the very officials who are responsible for suppressing smuggling are themselves deeply involved. Influential families and community leaders in manyalso participate.

Law enforcement against narcotics violators is weak in many countries. Police forces are generally inexperienced in drug matters and mostdo notentral agency for handling drug violations. Rivalries

The geography of many Latin American countries is ideal for drug production and smuggling operations. The long borders, difficult terrain, rivers, hidden bays and inlets, and myriad airstrips enable the narcotics trafficker to choose among routes and methods.

and jealousies among the various agencies dealing with narcotics hinder progress. Coordination and exchange of intelligence is many times sorely lacking.

Well-entrenched, well-organized, and well-financed criminals run the international trafficking networks. In many areas they operate with near impunity. They have shown considerable flexibility in shifting theirto countnes where law enforcement is weakest.

Judicial systems in many countries are weak and many times slow to act on narcotics offenses Lenient sentencing of drug dealers is common.Extradition-treaties -wilt some Latin Aiusncan nations flo not coverolics.

Regional programs, regional cooperation,omplete and honest exchange of information among the Latin nations on narcotics matters arc generally lacking. One of the few regional meetings in recentonclave of representatives from six South American nations, is scheduled for this summer in Bolivia. Another, sponsored by thc Brazilian Federal Police, is planned for Brasilia in the fall.

Thc Traffickers* Routes

Heroin from Mexico and Europe and cocaine from South America find their way into the USast variety of routes. The techniques used by traffickers are limited only by their imagination. From Mexico it is relatively easy to smuggle heroin and cocaine into the US across the long and largely unpatrolled border.he main north-south highway along the Pacific coast, is the chief artery for moving the narcotics withinew. paved road from thc tip of Baja California to thc US border is also thought to be heavily used by smugglers. Trafficking reportedly is increasing from the Pacific ports of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, ManzanUlo. and Guaymas via ferryboat to La Paz on the tip of Baja California and via private aircraft to hidden landing strips on the peninsula.

Border towns like Tijuana. Nogales, Ensenada, Agua Prieta, and Ciudad Juarez are distribution centers for drugs awaiting movement into the US. Much heroin and cocaine moves by air from Mexico both in commercial airliners and in small, privately owned craft that use hidden airstrips, straight stretches of roads, or paved strips along irrigation canals.S-registered aircraft have been confiscated by the Mexican government in thc past few yean. Most of them were found to be carrying narcotics.

In Central and South America, practically all of the major cities have served as stopping-off points for narcotics destined for the US. The main

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pons of entry for European heroin are Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro. Sao Pauio, Montevideo, and Asuncion. Heroin smuggled in to Buenos Aires, for example, may travel by river ro Paraguay, where it is loaded aboard private aircraft and flown to BraziJ. In Brazil it may be shipped direcrly to the US by sea or commercial aircraft or be diverted to Colombia. Ecuador, or Panama via Santiago. Chile. Cocaine from Peru or Bolivia is frequently tunneled directly to thc US through several centers; Santiago. Valparaiso, and Arica, Chile; La Paz, Bolivia; Lima and Callao, Peru; Guayaquil,and Call, Bogota, Turbo, and Barranquiila, Colombia. Large amounts go through Panama. Central America, and Mexico. Large shipments go by sea or air; smaller quantities are carried by couriers, many of them Colombian, who account for the greatest part Ol* thc traffic.

Many islands of the Caribbean also play important roles in the illicit traffic. Aruba and Curacao, in the Netherlands Antilles off the coast of Venezuela, are active transshipment points for European heroin, much of it originating in the Dutch ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The islands may alsoay station for South American cocaine on its way to Miami and New York.

The Trouble Spots

Mexico: Despite the good efforts of Mexico and the US, theproblem has vorsened in the last few yean: Mexican heroinfilled the void left in thc US market by the reduction ofthe transit traffic in cocaine has increased considerably, and

juana continues to cross thc border in multi-ton

lexicans to cany the war to the remote, clandestine opium poppy and marijuana fields, which they apparently have been doingengeance in the past several weeks. Mexican-supplied statistics, which are largely unverifiable, show that the opium poppy destruction campaign has been extraordinarily successful this year. It is too early to tell if this success will resultignificant reduction in the production of heroin in Mexico and an accompanying drop in the illicit traffic into the US, since cultivation may be expanding to compensate for the fields being destroyed.

Opium poppies are illegally grown in thousands of clandestine fields in at leastf thetates. Most of them are located in the mountains and

hjjfa of the western states of Sinaloa. Durango.ned uppium poppy

fields in'square-mile area in this region, and many others almost certainly exist. Another large growing area is found in the southwestern states of Guerrero. Michoacan and Oaxaca. In many areas, depending on weather and altitude, two crops areear-one in early spring and one in September or October.

Heroin-producing laboratories have been identified inarge concentration of (hem is believed to be located in and around Culiacan, Smaloa-the heroin center of Mexico. Although big labs have been seized, the more common type is an individual cnte.-pnse, mobile and simple in operation,ew kilograms per batch of opium. They require littleitchenome suffices-and they can be hidden in the mountains or in cities themselves.ot grown or processed in Mexico but passes through it in abundant quantities.

Hundreds of networks and gangs are involved, as are hundreds of individuals, many of them American tourists seeking touick but nsky profit. As ofhereS ciliienslanguishing in Mexican jails on narcotics charges. Some traffickers use narcotics as barter for guns from American buyers.

Dissem

There is no limn on the ways that narcotics can be smusgled into tht US irom Mexico. Entry is by land. jca. or air-no single method appears to be preferred over another. Smuggling by air is substantial: inS narcotics agents, monitoring radar near Del Rio. Texas, discovered about one illegal crossing by air per hourUe radius cf Del Rio. The locale is not the most active crossing area in Texas.

bizarre methods have been used. One major trafficking network in northern Sonora last yearo be packaging crude opium and morphine in plastic bags and shoving them down the throats of cattle. The animals were then shippedorder town, where they were slaughtered, and the narcotics removed and processed there into heroin. Crisis center workers on the US side of the border sayavorite, but dangerous, method of smuggling is toalloon containing about rwogr?msofhroBBli- 'he body! People also have been known to shoot arrows, io which an ounce or less of heroin is attached, across narrow portions of the Rio Grande.

A Family Affair

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Although high-level Mexican officials arc committed to attacking the issue, government agencies are atone unable to cope with the problem. Thc Federal Judicial PoUce, charged with enforcing narcotic laws under thc guidance and control of the attorney general, number onlynd they must enforce ail federal laws. They are ill-trained in narcotics, without long-term career status, woefully underpaid, and susceptible to bribery. Moves and plans are afoot to improve the quality of thetraining academy was establisheduly, and the attorney general plans to increase manpower and raise salaries-but it will probablyouple of years or more before improvements are evident.

The army, which for many years has sent thousands of troops into the countryside to destroy plantings of opium poppies and marijuana, remains coo ill-equipped, overworked, and poorly funded to be expected to defeac the problem. The army's main role of maintaining stability in the rural areas detracts somewhat fromi-narcotics efforts. Drug campaigns sometimes complicate the security problem by arousing the opposition of cam pes in OS whose crops are destroyed.

Thc army operates its narcotics campaign in rwo ways: it provides manpower for seasonal eradication efforts when directed by the attorney

general, and it runs its own separate crop destruction program in the military sectors where the poppies and marijuana are grown.

Despite all the problems, the army manages to destroy large quantities of opium poppies and marijuana-if the statistics it provides the US embassy arc anywhere near accurate. For example, the total area of poppy fields reported destroyed in the fust four months of this year has already surpassedide margin the total reported destroyed during allccording to the statistics, nearlyillion square meters were destroyed through April; the total for all4 was5 million square meters. The total number of poppy fields reported destroyed in the first four months5omparedn all

__Tlre spring, eradication campaign being-waged by the army and police in the states of Sinaloa. Durango, and Chihuahua began in February and ended in April. The campaign accountedarge part of this year's increased destructionone third of the area and about one half of the fields, according to the Mexican-supplied figures. The goal ofcres of opium poppy fields in Sinaloa, Durango, and Chihuahua fell short bycres, but the amount is impressive nonetheless.

On the surface, this year's destruction looks significant, but it is not certain whether it willarge dent in Mexico's opium and heroin production and thus resulteduced flow into the US. This is mainly because it is not known howrop of opium poppies is really grown in Mexico. Other areas besides the SinaJoa-Durango-Chihuahua and theaxaca areas may be prolific producers. Growers may be taking more care to make their fields inaccessible to destruction teams. The continued use of technical aids, however, may eventually help determine the extent of poppy cultivation. This, plus monitoring of the presence of Mexican heroin in the US. will probably make it easier to assess the effects of the Mexican eradication efforts.

Other Measures

Along with stepped-up crop destruction and enforcement efforts, the Mexicans have taken other measures. Chief among themewly revised drug law that gives stiffer penalties to traffickers but lighter sentences to young, first-time drug users. The minimum sentence for trafficking has been increased from three years to five years and three months,ail term mandatory. Under Mexican law persons sentenced to less than five years can be released on bail. Persons caught growing opium poppies, producing heroin, or financing those who do so will be subject to the same penalty as traffickers.

Efforts have been made in recent months to rid the police and judicial system of corruption, but graft is so prevalent at state and local levels that when one corrupt official is removed another one is likely to faiec his place. The head of the most important trafficking organization in Ciudad Juarez, ChJluahua, for example, has had to lie low for thc past several months because his "protectors" in thc local government and police were firedewly elected governor. Other groups are maneuvering for control over the lucrative Ciudad Juarez drug business and arc building their own coterie of protectors. One of them allegedly is the new governor's brother. Accordingnowledgeable source, the former drug czar willomeback and assume full control in the area after the dust settles.

Federal and state judicial police in the states of Sonora and Baja-veryeffectively-against smatrr independent traffickers because they compete with the large, organized gangs that pay the police for protection. Wide publicity is given to such arrests to verify the effectiveness of the war on narcotics traffickers.

Prospects

Mexican officials are committed to stemming the flow of drugs from

' eventually be

evident. Thc vigorous and apparently extensive destruction of drug crops in thc field, if done effectively and repeatedly, cannot help butark. The use of herbicides to destroy the crops is being reconsidered by the government after being rejected some time ago for environmental reasons. If adopted, this method will probably be helpful.

Still, advances will be subject to pitfalls. Corruption will remain the single most inhibiting factor despite the government's efforts to combat it. Rooting out the graftilemma. Exposing the corrupt officials is politically embarrassing in some cases and dangerous to enforcement officials in others.

Mexican officials will remain sensitive to outside efforts to deal with

The growers and traffickers may in time feel the pressure of effective countermeasures, but they have proved toesourceful lot. Putting major traffickers out of business willifficult task. Mexico willonvenient country to operate in for those involved in narcotics and there is no overwhelming reason why they should not attempt to increase their activities.

Colombia

Colombiaajor role in ihe international narcotics smuggling picture As the world's largest producer of refined cocaine, it Is the key jumping off point for cocaine shipments to the US. The influx of cocaine is increasing yearly, as is obvious from the following statistics on cocaine seizures and arrests by the Drug Enforcement Administration in the US. Many of the seizures are directly attributable to Colombian sources.

Cocaine Seized (Pounds)

Cocaine-related

Leaves from the coca bush are freely available in Bolivia and Peru and arc easily converted to coca paste. Some coca leaf is also grown in parts of Colombia. Laboratories scattered throughout the country refine the product and send it on to Bogota and other cities for distribution to couriers who snuggle it into the US via Mexico. Canada, and Europe. It is also brought into the US direcdy by all available means of private and commercial transportation.

The "banana zone" on the north coast of Colombia near theisthmus is an active area for traffickers. Cocaine is secreted aboard banana boats leaving for the US from ports along the coast. Local authorities are unable to control the situation because of the vast financial resources of the traffickers. Private aircraft from the US airlift substantial amounts of cocaine from the north coast area. Colombian authorities are beginning to tighten controls along the coast, but traffickers in turn appear to be shifting their operations inland to escape the pressure.

The Colombian traffickers are based primarily in Medellin, Cali, and Bogota. According to Drug Enforcement Administration intelligence of* ficials. they have rapidly advanced1 from almost totallygroups into highly sophisticated organizations. They usually are structured along classic organized-crime family lines. Violence is commonly

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used to maintain cohesion within the groups Small amounts of cocaine are smuggled into thc US by couriers, orwho are normally recruited while attempting to obtain visas for entry into the US. Couriers caught with narcotics are many tames allowed by US courts to return home without being prosecuted. Larger shipments require middlcmen;one large Colombian organization has established several legitimate un port/export companies to laciiitate the smuggling. Potential profits are enormous. It is estimatedilogram of cocaine that costs0 to produce can be ultimately sold in New York for upO0.

There are several factors that makeighly desirablepoint.

-Its geography makes- it- aNuitli and South

America. Much of the commercial ur traffic from South America passes through Colombia en route to the US. Itarge countryong coast line and few paved roads along the coast. Smugglers can pickarge number of clandestine airfields along the coast and in the mountains.

. -Smuggling of goods other than drugs has been accepted and tolerated in Colombia for generations. Narcotics traffickers use the channels already established.

arge, sophisticated criminal elementell-establishedto subvert enforcement efforts exists. In the last few years Colombia hasaven for drag smugglers and individuals who finance the operations and exert political influence to protect shipments.

-Colombian narcotics enforcement agencies haveack of coordination that inhibits effective action against traffickers. Ground rules on drug enforcement are ill defined.

-Thc judicial system is bureau erancrusted and inefficient. Colombian courtsistory of long delays in hearing cases. Many judges are notorious for their venality.

Colombian authorities realize their country's prominent role in thedrug traffic. They have indicated by certain actions, as well as words, that they mean to control it. President Lopez, in office lessear, has appointed new directors for two of Colombia's three agencies responsible for drug enforcement, thc Department of Administrative Secu-

matters. Drug seizures and arrests are mcreasing and the conviction rate for traffickers is improv.ng. Legislation has been passed to end the roh customs judges, who are known for their corruption, in adjudicating

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s^Uhc problem seems insurmountable in the short term. There is no lack of will on the part of Colombian authorities, but the factors working against them and the nsing demand for narcotics make it increasingly difficult to stem the tide.

Ecuador

Cocaine trafficking is the major narcotics problem in Ecuador. Tons of cocaine pasteTFom Peru and Colombia are smuggled into Ecuador and huge amounts are converted into cocaine in the many clandestine laboratories located in coastal areas and in the Andean highlands. Large amounts of Penman cocaine paste also pass through Ecuador into Colombia forEcuadorean-processed cocaine is moved secretly into Colombia, Mexico and eventually into the US.

The courier system is the preferred channel, but considerable amounts go out by sea and air, concealed within legitimate cargo, directly to the US. The center of the illicit traffic in Guayaquil. Ecuador's largest city and one of the most important ports on the Pacific coast of South America.

Ecuador has for decadesenter of organized contraband trade. The system is so entrenched that it is the exceptional member of the police or customs service who is not in some way receiving paymentmuggler. The borders with Colombia and Peru are poorly patrolled, so that in some cases ingenuity rather than corruption is all that is needed to move coniraband. Ecuadorcan drug officials have been slow to get together with their counterparts in Peru and Colombia to discuss border controls.

Over the past few years, opium poppies have been reported growing in Ecuador's Andean highlands. Estimates of the amount of heroin processed run fromonth-but authorities have been unable to find significant poppy plots or to purchase opium or heroin clandestinely. Authorities moreover list no heroin seizures for the past two years.

Ecuador was initiaUy slow to move on the narcotics problem, preferring toi.lamPon ,he small-time peddler rather than the international trafficker. In recent months, however, the government has started to take countermeasures and has increased its cooperation with the US. Thelaw was amended to form an intenninisterial committee for drug control and to enhance enforcement efforts.

T

So Fifffign Dissntn

A reorganization law for tne police was passed in5 after remaining in draft for moreear without being implemented The new law providesational criminal investigationart of which will be the narcotics enforcement unit with branches in each province. Several important traffickers and cocaine chemists have been put out of business. Many chemists have fled to Colombia.

Not all those apprehended remain on the sidelines for long. One ofimportant traffickers in South America, Francisco Adum Adum,"in custody" awaiting thai forear.p

Ecuador, Uke most other ccHintries in Latin America, is plagued by narcotics-related corruption. Some government and police officials have reportedly used their influence to release traffickers from prison, have accepted bnbes to free them, or hive blackmailed them for their freedom.

Though police are beginning to improve, it will probably be some lime before they become truly effective against the drug traffickers. Poor planning, inadequate use of personnel,ack of effective controls at the borders severely hinder their efforts. Even with organizational improvementshange in enforcement priorities, narcotics production and trafficking arc likely to continue and possibly increase given the existing corruption, organizational deficiencies, availability of the raw product, and the strength of the drug networks.

Peru

Peru is possibly the world's largest supplier of coca leaf that finds its way into the illicii drug market as cocaine. The US embassy estimates thatercent or more of the world's coca leaf supply comes from Peru. The crop is grown legally, under government supervision and exported to rhe US and Europe. The foreign currency earnings are not substantial. For example,0 pounds were exported

A Peruvian biological researcher reports that of the someillion kilograms of leaves produced annually, only one fifth of them can be counted on to be chewed by the Andean campesincs or used for other legal

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purposes. Tlic rest, someillion kilograms, fairly pours into thc illegal market each year. Substantial quantities of cocaine can be made fromilograms of average strength coca leaves will reduce to aboutilograms of coca paste, which in turn is reducibleilograms of cocaine.

While thc first step in producing cocaine may mainly involve small "mom and pop" backyard operations in thc mountains, there are good indications lhat large-scale rings carry out the subsequent steps. Traffickers with international connections then move the cocaine. Traditionally, the traffickers in Peru have shipped to Mexico and from there overland to the US. Recently, violators have been caught attempting to re-route cocaine through Europe to thc US and through Europe to Canada to the US.

-Opium produclion does not amount to muchmallamounts are grown in the Andean highlands and possibly in the northern border area, primarily for medicinal use by the local population. The situation presently does not lend itself to exploitation by drug traffickers.

The major roadblocks to progress on thc narcotics problem in Peru

the attitudes of private interests who have profited from coca farming and

the government, which does not view cocaroblem affectingpeople. Most officials in fact regard drug trafficking as anPeruvian youth do not abuse narcotics in any substantiallocal Indian custom of chewing coca leaves extends back to an epoch

before recorded Peruvian history. While this custom was recently

he go%'emment does not appear to be actively

a reduction in coca cultivation. Production may in fact be

The Peruvians do notational policy on thc control of

products and commerce. The problem Is worsenedotorious lack

cooperation and coordination among the various agencies and ministries involved in coca policy. Enforcement suffersevere lack of funds, equipment, and experienced narcotics supervisory officials in the Peruvian Investigationsetective force with national jurisdiction. Most of the illegal activity takes place in remote, nearly inaccessible areas, making control difficult for thcew police officers and otherofficials have been caught protecting violators or have been involved in outright trafficking.

The problem is no less serious within the courts. Existing drug laws are adequate, but the courts have been generally lenient. Cocaine traffickers have traditionally gotten off with only limited fines and jail terms.

Government officials have discussed the possibilities of substituting other crops for coca on occasion, but the present administration generally

Soissem

seems jpatheuctoward the idea. Crop substitution seems far in the future The pjghr or the Indians andependence on chewing the leaf present political, physical, and economic problems that will not be solved quickly.

Peru will continue toajor supplier of coca leaves for the illicit

"IT fnt0reemenlrove and government att.tudes and methods change.

Bolivia

The problem in Bolivia is similar to that in Peru-the transformation of cocai into cocaine and its subsequent smuggling. There are no reliable figures

out of

, r eruhal respect. Most Bolivian cocaine ends up. of course, in the US.

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Coca leaf cultivation, selling, transportation, and chewing are legal In recent years, increases in production have been noted, but evidence suggests that chewmg rhe leaf is declining. The difference between local production and chewmg is doubtless being used to manufacture cocaine. Cocaine in various stages ot processing easily flows over Bolivia's borders to Peru Chile Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. Numerous cocaine refineries, most of them unsophisticated and makeshift, are located mainly in rural areas. Some cocaine may be exchanged for European heroin ihat is then sent to the US Heroin production and processing in Bolivia are not extensive.

Enforcement is hindered by budgetary restraints and apparent

ingness by the authonties to arrest majorks

broad political base and because of this is reluctant to execuie policiesgenerate public discontent. The narcotics section of rhe

foiice is inexpenenced and short on equipment. The judicial systemslowly. Many individuals arrested on drug eolations are able to

their way out of the charge. Some high-ranking government officials

suspected of being involved in trafficking.

Despite the problems, the Bolivian government is cooperating with the US, and is apparently willing to take more aggressive action. New drug laws are beingeeting of drug officials from neighboringis planned for this summer, and crop substitution programs are beini considered to cope with the situation.

U.IU0 prevcilf thc seepagc of coca lcaf'"icit market will be difficult. Thousands of fanners and Indians are culturally and financially dependent on coca. Thc size of the country, its rugged landscape its extensive land borders with its neighbors, its primitive communications system, and its limited resources, both human and financial, furtherefforts to defeat the problem.

Original document.

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